MONROE CITY, Mo. -

Parts of Monroe City were still without power Thursday afternoon after strong winds swept through the night before.

Howling winds knocked down power lines and darkened the city Wednesday around 6:00 p.m., according to Monroe City Power Plant supervisor Bill Elliott.

"Sixteen poles went down at the same time," said Elliott, who said the power plant was unable to turn on the generators right away because he first needed to assess the damage.

A Monroe City resident said he and his family took cover and hid in a basement for six hours until the storm was over, said Thomas Smith, who was picking up debris in downtown. 

Steel roofing from a store was blown half-a-block away from Main St. to near the railroad tracks. 

Elliott called in mutual aid and summoned help from Columbia, Hannibal and Macon. 

Utility crews from Columbia Power and Light said they arrived in Monroe City in the morning and worked through the rain and wind.

Linemen were installing a new distributor pole that feeds power to the north part of town Thursday afternoon when Elliott said about 90 percent of the power had been restored.

Steve Casteel, one of the foremen with the city of Columbia, said he and 11 others volunteered to help restore power and they will continue through Friday.